Thursday, July 31, 2014

One Night at a Bar (Part II)

About a year and a half ago, I wrote "One Night at a Bar." The characters came to me during a sleepless night in the N.O. There was something about Max and Kalila that just stood out to me. I wanted to explore their story more but writer's block prevailed. But, I've got my mojo back so without further ado, here's part II. Enjoy!

It has been a full month since that night at the Ice Bar. 31 days that Max's card had been burning a hole in Kalila's snakeskin MK wallet. She had dreamed of his intense brown eyes and very handsome face more than once. But, she wasn't one to start something new without ending something old. She was finally free from the ridiculousness of her relationship with Zachary. It took much longer to end the relationship then she hoped. Zachary had proved to be stubborn and persistent. But, she was over not being appreciated and being taken for granted. The breakup did not take as much out of her as she thought. She realized she didn't love Zach. He was Mr' Right...on paper. He was successful in his own right, mature, intelligent and funny. But, there was something missing. She had known that for a while. She was trying to force it with him. Mainly because she had a mother who thought she was too old to not be married. She liked Zach and enjoyed his company but he was merely a placeholder for the right one. He took it harder than she expected. She was sorry about that. But, the reality is, he caused the breakup by his behavior. She was not the type of woman that was used to playing the backburner in a relationship. That got old quick. The relationship lasted less than a year. Now, she was single and had one thing on her mind: getting to know Max better. Because in one conversation, she felt more at ease with him. It was time to do something about these feelings. 

"I should just stop by the bar," she thought. "But, I need to call and make sure Max is there." Kalila picks up her cell and makes the call. The phone rings and a bubbly woman answers "Hello. This is the Ice Bar. How can I help you?" "Hi, I'd like to speak to the owner, Max, please?" Kalila says. "I'll transfer you. Please hold." Kalila holds her breath while waiting. "I'm sorry but Max is dealing with deliveries at the moment. Can I take a message?" "No message. Thanks," she replied. She ends the call while crossing the room to her walk-in closet. "I need a 'WOW' outfit for this," she says. She sifts through hanger after hanger mentally rejecting all of it. "This is crazy. A closet full of clothes I love and I cannot find one thing to wear?!" Her hand stops on the dress. It's a cobalt blue peplum Carolina Herrera dress she purchased on a whim months ago. It has never been worn. "This is it!" she yells. From there, everything just fell in place. Leopard print Louboutin's, gold bangles and simple diamond studs would complete the look. Opening her lingerie drawer, she already knew what she had to wear. It was her Agent Provocateur Zsa-Zsa bra set. It was her fave. It made her girls just right. She slipped it on as well as her shoes. She walks into the bathroom to do her makeup. "Light and natural is the way to go tonight," she thinks. Kalila finishes her face with MAC Up The Amp lipstick.  Checking the time, she runs to slip her dress on. She grabs her leopard MK clutch and checks her appearance in the mirror in her living room on her way out the door. 

The Ice Bar was half full which was normal on a Thursday night. Standing in front of the upstairs office window was Max. He was dressed in a pair of charcoal grey slacks and black polo shirt. The brother was clean all the way down to his black Cole Haan Lenox Hill Split Oxfords. He didn't know how many nights he had spent in this exact spot hoping that she would walk back in. She was Kalila, a customer he couldn't forget. He had been kicking himself for weeks for not getting her number that night. His brother Bryce was also giving him the blues about his major slip up. He just knew she would call. But, she never did. It had been one long month for Max. "I've got to stop waiting for her to show up," he thinks. His DJ was playing his favorite John Legend song "Again" so he decided to go downstairs. As he got to the last step, it was like time stopped. Coming through the doors of his bar was Kalila. He was shocked and excited. He saw her before she spotted him. He watched this brown skinned goddess practically glide to the bar. "Damn! She looks better than I remember. She is wearing the hell out of that dress," Max thought while watching her. His eyes roamed from the top of her head all the way down to her shoes. Kalila was a curvy woman, just the way Max liked women. "Alright, calm down," he says to himself. 

Max walked quickly to the bar. He didn't want Kalila to have a chance to leave. He needed to see her face, hear her voice. Before he knew it, he was two steps behind her. Kalila was ordering her drink. "Hi, can I get a glass of Pinot Grigio. Thank you," she told Maia the bartender. "Paige, Kalila's drink is on the house," Max said. Kalila felt herself get warm all over. "He's here," she screamed internally. Composing herself, she turned to see the face that was haunting her in her dreams lately. With a bright smile, she says "Well, hello Max. How are you?" His smile is as big as hers. He replied "I am so much better now that you are here, Kalila." There was no pretense here. Both of them were feeling the exact same emotion: pure happiness. She thinks "He looks great. I forgot how fine he was." "You know I thought I imagined you. I mean, I had no prove since the pretty lady never called me," he states. She blushes and drops her head. Her right hand sweeps her hair behind her ear. This was a habit that she didn't realize she did. "Max, I am sorry it took me so long to contact you. I wanted to before tonight but life got a little messy." she says. "Here's your wine and your scotch, Max" Paige says. Kalila turns to grab her glass and hand Max his. Their fingers touch and it's magnetic. They both feel it. Both look up at the same moment. Staring deep into each others eyes, they smile. Max wanted her undivided attention. "I'd really love to have a conversation with you where I didn't have to shout. Would you please come upstairs to my office?" he asks as he extends his left hand. Kalila, throwing caution to the wind, takes his hand. 

He leads her to the stairs and then lets her go up first. Kalila thinks "He could be a perfect gentlemen or he could he watching my ass." Either way, she makes sure there is an extra wiggle in her walk. Max is trying not to watch her butt ascend up the wood stairs but its hard not to. "She has to be doing this on purpose," he thinks and smiles. When they reach the top of the stairs, Max passes in front of her to show her where to go. He slightly brushes against front of her. He hears her as she quietly gasps. He takes her hand to lead her down the to the office. He pushes the door open for her to enter first. "This is it. Please come in." "Thank you." She thinks "This is def a masculine office." The office was decorated in shades of brown, burgundy and gold accents. The floor and desk are both made of a Brazilian cherry wood. It was gorgeous. There are two brown leather chairs in front of the desk and also a sofa against one wall. In front of the desk was a window that took up the whole wall. It overlooked the bar. Kalila was impressed. "This is a gorgeous office, Max." "Thanks. I cannot lie, I only picked colors. My sister-in-law did all of this." "She is great at it." "Have a seat." She sits on the sofa and he sits next to her. "I want to explain the big delay to you. You know the night we met I was waiting for my boyfriend. He is now my ex but that took some doing." "I understand and it's cool. I'm just glad you're here with me at this exact moment, Kalila." She blushes and smiles. "You can call me Lila. I come from a family full of K named kids," she says while laughing. "Ok, Lila. I love nicknames. I kinda had to with a name like Maximus. I've always been Max." "I think Maximus is a very regal name." He smiles "thank you."

The conversation flows so easily between Max and Kalila. It's like they were miles away from the dark bar downstairs. There is laughter and drinking. But, there is also a genuine connection here. He is 37, unmarried and no kids. She is 35, unmarried with no kids. They both loved art and appreciated the work of Frida Kahlo. They loved music. He was a jazz and hip hop guy. She was an R&B and alternative girl. They were both the babies of their families. He had an older brother and sister. She has a older brother and 2 (twin) sisters. He's a southern guy, she a west coast bay baby. Both ended up in Atlanta purely by circumstance but both loved their adopted home. Before they knew it, they had talked for hours. Max glanced at the clock and realized the time. He reaches for her hand and looks deep into her eyes and says"Oh wow, it's 4:30 and I have keep you way too long, Lila. But, spending this time with you has been worth it."  "The feeling is mutual," Kalila replies. She takes out her business card and writes her cell number on the back. She hands the card to Max. "Now, you have my number so you can call me." He grins and looks down at the card. "I def will use it. Would you please do me the honor of going to dinner with me tomorrow night, Lila?" She looks into his handsome brown face and answers "Yes" without hesitation. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

This Reader's Review: "The Boss" Trilogy


You have to love Tumblr. I know I do. This past week, a post recommended a good trilogy for the readers of "50 Shades of Grey." I am thankful to Mara Wilson's (child actor from "Madeline") tweet about the Abigail Barnette series "The Boss." So, I went to look it up on Amazon. I did read that other BDSM trilogy. I was hardly impressed. I was open to try another one. The first book of the series is "The Boss." It was actually free on Amazon via Kindle. Which is always a win for me. I jumped head first into this book. The main characters are Neil and Sophie. Both dynamic and flawed in their own right. Both characters I instantly liked. I love when an author can create a world with words that I can see in my head. Barnette does that for me. She creates a look into a good BDSM, Dom/Sub relationship. The characters feel and speak like real people. The situations are ones I can imagine. I finished this book in hours. I could not wait to find out what's next. Books 2 ("The Girlfriend") and 3 ("The Bride") are only $0.99 on Amazon last weekend. This was another win for me. I finished the entire trilogy in one weekend sitting. I didn't think it was possible but the second and third books were better than their predecessors. Barnette has gained a fan in me.

What I loved the most about the books was the care that was shown in the Dom/sub relationship. It showed how much Neil cared for, loved Sophie. Their d/s relationship wasn't about pain or manipulation. The most amazing thing was the sub care that Neil provided to Sophie. I loved their love. From their first interaction until the last page of the third book, I was always for their relationship. The age gap is insane but I forgot about it until it is mentioned. There is only one character I hate in the book. Barnette has a gift and I am appreciative for it. I am slightly intrigued by the whole BDSM culture. This book made my interest grow a little. If you are interested in that lifestyle, you should def check this series out. Oh, and btw, there will be a fourth book released next spring entitled "The Ex." And, since I loved the trilogy, I cannot wait to find out what happens between Sophie and  Neil. Get into it. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Securely Vulnerable

"Well, I hope one day you find someone with whom you can be securely vulnerable." - Shay

The other night I was scrolling my Tumblr dashboard when my girl Shay dropped the above reply and it floored me. The discussion was about Black men being vulnerable with their women. That they need to be able to show emotion, weakness within their relationships. The phrase "securely vulnerable" is one that stood out to me. Vulnerability is something that I wrestle with because of how much you have to trust the people in your life with your somewhat fragile heart. The word vulnerable is defined as "easily hurt or harmed physically, mentally or emotionally; open to attack, harm, or damage. Being in love is the act of leaving yourself vulnerable to pain but trusting your lover to not do so. The act of being vulnerable with anyone is one that takes a lot of courage and heart. 

To me saying "I love you" is one of the biggest acts of vulnerability. Because loving someone opens you up to the possibility of getting your heart broken and getting hurt. And, to me, those two are the worst kind of emotional pain I have ever experienced. Loving people, openly and honestly, takes courage. It takes faith. Being vulnerable is not something that I . I think vulnerability is a trait that we all should aspire to. Yes, there is a risk but the reward is so much higher. I call my being vulnerability "soft and pink" because I feel like it is the most girly part of me. It's the part of me that is sensitive. To me, being securely vulnerable in a relationship is the most amazing thing. I've only achieved this once in my 34 years. The idea of that level of vulnerability seems daunting to try to achieve again. While I had it, I was totally enveloped in it. I thrived in it. I wondered how I lived without it. Now, that I do not have it anymore, I ache for it. The thought of it makes me happysad. Honestly, it's something I want again but this time I won't let it slip away. I want nothing more than to be securely vulnerable.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Like A Hurricane


Everything about the above poem speaks to me on a deeper level. It describes me and my nightly routine. The line that hurts the most is "Her mind is like a hurricane." That is truly me in a sentence. I have written extensively about the fact that I think a lot. I worry a lot. I over think everything. I cannot count the number of nights I've watched the clock and wondered "what if?" There have been too many sleepless nights spent in my head. I call it a character flaw. Today, a friend called it a character difference because flaw has a negative connotation to it. It's a part of me. It's My mind is like a hurricane, always moving quickly from one thought to the next. I can build up and tear down a scenario time and time again in my head. I always wonder what I could've done differently. It takes so much for me to turn off my thoughts. A hurricane is a perfect description of what occurs inside of my head. I've never heard it described as such but the person who said this to me was right. He's also one of the few people who know me the best. This poem makes me not want my head to be a hurricane anymore. I'd like it to be peaceful and calm and beautiful. That would be my idea of euphoria. Hurricanes have never been a great thing in my life. They come in fast and leave destruction in their wake. I am not that woman. I am more than my thoughts and my ever wondering, worrying mind. I'm just Kenda.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Movie Review: "Hercules"

I am a Greek Mythology enthusiast. Have been since I was ten years old. This is how I ended up at the movie theater today to catch Dwayne Johnson's (aka The Rock) new movie "Hercules." I did not know what to expect because I had not seen one trailer for this movie. But, I am a fan of The Rock so I was open to it. I am so glad I decided to go catch it. It was a pretty good movie. There was action and wars and even some comedy. The comedy was unexpected but appreciated. The movie was set in Greece and I loved the country side shots in the movie. One of my favorite character s in this movie a woman warrior by the name of Atalanta. She is amazing with a bow and arrow. The movie just opened Friday and the theater was packed today. 

What I really enjoyed about the movie was that they played up the rumors of Hercules birth a lot. He says that he never knew his father. It is also insinuated that he isn't really a demigod (half god/half mortal). There is talk of the "gods," and Hera and the like but it's really just all background for the plot of the movie: war. Hercules is a mercenary and leads an army through a war. I love that the movie was playful in parts where the entire audience collectively laughed out loud. Johnson is a very believable Hercules and he carries the movie. All of the characters are well written and acted. I enjoyed everything about it. I will def purchase this when it comes out on dvd. Go ahead and indulge in a little Greek Mythology  via the "Hercules" movie. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

These Are Just My Thoughts

  • There were three nights in the last week that my body said "enough!" I was sleep before 8p.m. all three nights. I needed that rest truly. I slept so good. 
  • But, then last night, the insomnia came back. I was up until after 5a.m. I slept almost 7 hours. Been in a good mood all day. Smiling cause I'm alive and the sun is shining. Good day has been good.
  • Not for nothing but Silk Almond Milk and fresh strawberries are the perfect combo for a summer smoothie. Makes this hot day even better. Sipping in the sunshine. Loving this summery Saturday evening. 
  • When I get hooked on a song, I never get tired of it. The current song is "Y.A.S." by Trey Songz. It stays on repeat. Because why not? Good music never goes out of style. 

  • I need a tan. Yes, Black girls can tan too. This brown skin goddess needs more sun on her skin. I need to be two shades darker ASAPtually. *prays to the sun Gods for this to happen*
  • I have been neglecting reading my Bible. For a few reasons. But, I need to rectify that. I need clarification about some things that I cannot figure out on my own. I need guidance. Gonna read to get it. 
  • I have been trying my best to avoid all the engagement, wedding and baby announcements. Because in all honesty, they make me feel some kind of way. And, it's not a necessarily a good feeling. 
  • But, no matter what, I am loving me. That is my most important act everyday. No one else opinion matters. In my mind, Kenda is dope as hell and that's that. My only plan is to...


Friday, July 25, 2014

Ladies Love Lyrics: Goapele & Drake's "Closer"

It's not very often that two versions of the same song make me happy. Such is the case with the original "Closer" by Goapele and the remix by Drake. Both versions are dope in their own right. I can and do rock with both of them. They are timeless songs in my world. Get into these lyrics and the beat. 

"Closer to my dreams
It's coming over me

I'm gettin' higher
Closer to my dreams
I'm getting higher and higher
Feel it in my sleep

Some times it feels like I'll never go pass here
Some times it feels like I'm stuck forever and ever

But, I'm going higher
Closer to my dreams
I'm goin' higher and higher
I can almost reach

Some times you just have to let it go (Let it go, let it go)
Leaving all my fears to burn down
Push them all away so I can move on
Closer to my dreams
Feel it all over my being
Close your eyes and see what you believe

I'm happy as long as we're apart
Then I'm moving on to my dreams..."

"Ex girl stripping
I can't stop her
New girl tripping but I can't drop her
'Cause I need something to balance out the fact
That it's hard to find a woman when you' talented and black
When you hollering at labels
And they silencing you back
'Cause you fail to thoroughly discuss some violence in ya track
Gunshot for the young yacht owner
See there's everybody else then there's one top loner
First place is often the worst place
But fuck it I love it here I call it my birthplace
Whenever I walk in they makin' the worst face
Surrounded by Filipinos I think of the worst case
Watch blue and green diamonds I call it the earth face
I'm getting ya cake I tell you how ya dessert taste
I get a dessert plate
Y'all eat pedigree as ya meal
I've been Urkel for some years it's better being Jaleel
Though I rock lean snap it's better being this real
It's better driving a car with the letter B in the wheel..."

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Short Story (Recap): "One Night At A Bar"

I posted this story about 19 months ago (12.28.12) And, I have been tasked to do a part two. This is my way of making sure I do so. Get reacquainted with these characters. Part II coming soon. 

She waited patiently at the dimly lit bar. Nervously touching her diamond pendant necklace. It was a habit. She was on edge. Anxious. The bartender walked over to her. "Hi there. What can I get you, pretty lady?" he asked while smiling. She smiled backed weakly. "A glass of Pinot Noir, please." she replied. "You look like you could use something stronger. How about a shot on the house to go with your Pinot." She smoothed out the napkin while shaking her head. "I'm Max. Let's take a shot" he said. "Hi Max. I'm Kalila." She picks up the shot glass and throws it back. Max does the same. "You look nervous. Are you waiting on someone?" Max asked. Kalila responds "Yes, I'm waiting on my boyfriend. He's late as usual." as she looks at her watch.

She finished her glass of wine way too quickly. She didn't care. She was fighting off tears. Max refilled her wine without asking her. "You look like you needed another one, Kalila." She replied "I did. Thank you." "You don't look very happy waiting on this man. What's wrong?" Those two words. That question had been following her for weeks now. The tears came as she lowered her head. "Hey, please don't cry. I'm sorry for prying." he said. She dabbed at the tears on her face. "It's not your fault, Max. This is just the end of something I wanted more than anything. You are about to witness a breakup." Kalila said. Max looked into the sad,sad eyes of Kalila and felt her pain. "You don't want it to be over though." "No, but it has to be. He doesn't even see me anymore. I deserve to be seen." Kalila said to Max. "I don't know why I'm spilling my guts to a stranger. But, you don't know me so I don't really care." "Well, if he is taking you for granted, then maybe you should leave."

Kalila drinks her wine slowly and keeps hawking the door. She can't look Max in the eyes. She knew he was right. Every fiber in her being knew this already. The relationship had run its course. She was just sad and afraid. Sad because she was losing her best friend, her love. Afraid because she did not know what life would be without Zachary. She loved him fiercely. But, it wasn't enough. Not at all. Max asked "Would you like another glass?" She shakes her head no. "Water would probably be better. I need to be clear to do this." Max understands. Kalila drops her head. Max takes this as a sign that she needs a minute. He walks away to serve other patrons at the bar. She was on edge. Zack is super late. She checks her cell for the 100th time. No missed calls or texts. Another sign that she is an afterthought to her own man. She gets angry all over again. "This is crazy," she thinks. An hour has passed, still no Zach. She calls him but gets no answer. She wants to leave but cannot.

Her phone vibrates finally. She looks down to see if it is a call or a text. A text from Zachary. She sighs. Her heart knows that it will be bullshit. It's all that it ever is. Zachary's text read: "Sorry, Baby. I'm not going to make it to the bar. Work calls." Kalila is ridiculously annoyed. And highly pissed off. "He does not care. Why would he do this? What? I wasn't worth a damn phone call." she wonders aloud. Max notices her demeanor. He is tempted to talk to her again. But, he doesn't want to intrude. She sits with her shoulders slumped over. She looks like a woman defeated by life. A beautiful woman but defeated none the less. Max wanted her. But, her heart belonged to another. He wanted to know more about the woman with the deep brown eyes. But, he knew better. He was a great judge of character. He knew now was not the time.

Kalila is thinking and shaking her head. "This is what their relationship had come to. Her always waiting on him. Waiting on him to pick up the phone. Waiting on him to come over. Waiting on him to let her in. He'd been different lately." She didn't want to admit that. It was as if he didn't love her anymore. And, that hurt like hell. His actions screamed that he didn't care anymore. But neither of them had the courage to end it. He was supposed to be her happily ever after. She finishes her drink and calls for Max. He walks over to her. "I'm done. How much?" she asked. Max smiles and says "No charge. You look like a woman who needs a break. It's on me." Kalila was taken aback. She smiles and thanks him profusely. She takes out a $20 bill to tip the nice man with the great voice and smile. "Here this is for you. Thanks for lending me your ear." He takes the tip graciously. "Thank you. Don't be a stranger. Come back to my bar sometime, Kalila." "Your bar?" "I own it. I'm just filling in for a sick bartender tonight." He hands her a card. "Do you promise to come back?" Kalila smiles "Yes, I do. Thank you Max. Good night."

Kalila walks out of the bar with a smile on her face. She knew that her future was unsure. She knew that her relationship with Zachary was over. She looked down at the card. It was nice, very professional. She flipped it over to see that Max had written his cell number on the back. She was surprised. She put the card into her wallet as she walked to her car. She did not know what was ahead of her. But, she was smiling regardless. To Be Continued...Maybe...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Places I Must Visit: Portbelo, Panama


Portobelo is a port city in Colon Province, Panama. It is home to not one but two Black Christ statues. This city was ironically discovered and named by Christopher Columbus. I am inclined to believe that this city existed before he "found" it just like America but I digress. I have seen some really gorgeous pictures of the beaches here, the houses and the lifestyle there. All of it makes me excited to see it. But, the main attraction for me are the two Black Christs. I have read the Bible enough to know that Jesus is not the blond haired, blue eyed White man that many depict him as. "Hair like wool and feet like bronze" does not equate a White man to me. I have never accepted the image of Jesus that has been shoved down our throats via the church and mainstream media. From the pictures alone, I can tell that this is something I need to see with my own eyes. I have only recently learned of this place and its history. I cannot wait to go there. It has moved it's way up to the top 5 destination spots. Get into it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rant: 35

In less than 5 months, I will be 35. Thirty-freaking-five!! This is a huge milestone for anyone. I am not prepared. I am not taking this aging thing gracefully. 35 is an age I could not comprehend  when I was 16. Around this time 5 years ago, turning 30 felt like the biggest thing ever. I am trying my best to not get caught up in all the things I thought I would/should have by this age. But, it's hard not to. I am not really looking forward to it. 35 is an age where things should be settled in your life. I feel totally unsettled and unprepared for what will become of me. I don't like the uncertainty my future holds. Turning 35 was supposed to be something different than what it will be. It just hit me today that I will be 35 soon. I had a plan for my life. It hasn't exactly panned out quite the way I thought it would. I am going to spend the next few months trying to change my thinking about my next birthday. Hopefully, by the time December 14th, my outlook will be better. Fingers crossed.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Let Me Tell You About Me

We all have those moments, days when we feel less than. We aren't happy with our bodies or our hair or our jobs or situations. There are days when we feel like nothing will ever be perfect. It's normal. I want to discuss this. It isn't about what anyone else thinks of us or how the world sees us. Because even on my worst day, a compliment can only brighten my mood for a moment. I can be my harshest critic. I do hold myself to a high standard. I am harder on me than anyone else could ever be. But, this rant isn't about that. This is about celebrating myself and all the things I love about me. Because the world is a hard and cold place. But, we all need to stand in the sunshine a little more. So, no I am no where near perfect nor do I want to be. 

I'll begin with the physical. I LOVE my legs. They are a distinctly different color than the rest of me. They hardly ever darken up but I love them. Especially when I have on a dress or skirt or tights or thigh highs. My eyes are interesting. I love them the most when I am smiling so hard that they kinda disappear because of my cheeks. My cheeks are huge and they make me happy. I am obsessed with my eyebrows because, in all honesty, they are perfect. My hair is thick and glorious. My brown skin is always soft and silky. Of course, I really love my boobs. It took me a long time to accept them. When you go from barely having anything to a full C cup over a summer in high school, being overly self conscious about your boobs is normal. They are real and they are fabulous. It is a huge deal to love and accept  yourself.

I love the way I see the world. The way my mind works amazes and terrifies me. I think that I'm a dope person and I have no issues with spending time with myself. I think it's important. My love of reading and music is unmatched by anyone personally know. My thirst for knowledge is insane. I am hella silly and laughing is a must. I love that I don't take myself too seriously and can laugh at myself. I have no issues with being emotional because my feelings are valid. So if I need to cry or wonder or laugh or just stand still, I will and do. I like the fact that my friends and family come to my for advice. And that I am a great listener. There is no one like me on God's green Earth. I am unique. One of one. I was having a moment yesterday and needed to write this for myself. I encourage you all to do the same. There is more good than bad in all of us. Stop being so hard on yourself. Look into the mirror and smile at what God made. Love yourself like Kanye love himself lol. But, seriously, we all need to do this more often. That's my only point. I LOVE ME!!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My Poetry Corner XIV: Pieces I Cannot Finish

**2:36 a.m.**

In all honesty, you broke me to fix yourself
And where is the righteousness in that?



That’s what love is
Consciously choosing each other every day
One day when it was time to choose me
You decided not to
That was the beginning of my end
And that’s really the saddest goodbye to a once great love story



There are parts of me that I can never share with another man
because I gave them to you
and you threw them away
discarded my pieces as if they were trash.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

It's My Hair: Length Check

This is what boredom looks like in my world. Today, I wanted to see how long my hair was. I know how thick it is because I deal with it everyday. But, I hardly ever use heat on my hair anymore. This is only the second time I've flat ironed my hair in the last year or so. All week my hair has been in in a bantu knot out. I keep it well oiled and moisturized daily. So, today I didn't have to do much. I started by hand combing my hair in sections. I then sprayed my hair with Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Flat Iron Perfector Straightening Mist. It's a heat protectant and I love it. It works wonders and it smells like heaven. I only used my flat iron on a medium heat and went to work.

Finally after an hour and 15 minutes, I was done. I could not have been happier with my results. My hair was straight and shiny. Next up was checking my length. My hair has grown so much since last year. I did not realize how much until today. I'm almost at BSL (bra strap length) and that makes me happy. I have never been big on hair length. I prefer width because big hair is dope and I love it. I couldn't stop running my fingers through my head. Of course, I had to throw on my new favorite gold double braided headband and a little makeup and take pictures. I'm overly excited about my hair journey and my hair growth. I doubt that I'll flat iron my hair again this year but it was good to see my progress. Yay for happy, healthy long natural hair. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ladies Love Lyrics: Trey Songz "What's Best For You"

Love is a strange emotion. It can be the very best and the absolute worst thing ever. They say that if you love someone, you should want the best for them. Even if that means letting them go because you aren't it. This is a concept I have been struggling with for the last year in a half. I believe I am too selfish in love. If I am in love with you, then I want you with me. I cannot see past my love for you to see you loving someone else. I am totally NOT there yet. I don't know if I'll ever be. Trey Songz new single discusses this issue. I dig the song a lot. I have a feeling u will too. Get into these lyrics. 

Don’t make this hard for me
It’s not about who’s right or wrong, no
If it’s how it’s supposed to, really supposed to be
Then this love will carry on, girl
If we leave how we began
Then just know, that

I only want what’s best for you
It’s not what’s good for me
It’s not about what I want
But it’s all about what you need
I want what’s best for you
But I don’t want you to leave
It’s not about what I want
But it’s all about what you need
I want what’s best for you

Cause you're the sweetest thing I know
If I said I loved you, really loved you so
Then I could let you go
Doesn't mean I'm giving up, no
So just know that..."

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Words Mean Things

You know what really grinds my gears?!? People who use words without knowing their real definitions and/or those who use words in the wrong manner. You know the type, loud and wrong. Or, even worse, the ones that use it so completely wrong with the proudest look on their faces. I am a woman who loves words. They are just about my favorite thing. As a kid, I used to read the dictionary for fun. I like learning the etymology of a word, the synonyms and antonyms of it. I just like to know all I can about a word. I do not use them to impress people. I use them to impress myself if I'm being perfectly honest. No one is more appreciative of my intelligence than I am. So, this is why I cannot stand for a person to use words wrong in front of me. I have learned how to NOT be the grammar police. Even though it's all I want to do. That reeks of a know-it-all and I don't want to be that woman. People need to book up more books and dictionaries and learn some things. Mainly that words do indeed mean things. They absolutely do. Words are precious and should be treated as such. Respect the words that come out of your mouth. Please. Ok, rant over. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Get Into It: Eyebrow Kits

In my world, eyebrows are very important. I love mine. Getting my eyebrows threaded make me feel like a new woman. I remember the first time I got them arched as a teen. I felt like it made my face brighter. Since then, I have had my brows tweezed, waxed and now threaded. I prefer threading. I have the best brow lady in my city. I like the clean look of threading. I also love that getting my eyebrows threaded lasts longer than waxing. I can go almost at least 6-8 weeks in between appointments. Recently, I have discovered brow kits. These kits include wax (either colored or clear), powder and a brush. Some come with tweezers as well. I have tried two to very different results.

The first brow kit I tried was the e.l.f. Studio Eyebrow Kit in medium. It retails for $3 which is super affordable. I purchased it from Target. The packaging is gorgeous, sleek and black. I love that the kit has a mirror for on the go brow upkeep. This kit includes wax, powder and a two sided brush. I loved that the wax was brown because so are my natural brows. I am not that fond of the powder though. It made my brows look great and very natural. I loved the ease of the brush. In the end, I wasn't overly impressed with the results. So, I went in search of another brow kit. 

This led me to the NYC Browser Brush On Brow Kit in Brunette. It retails for $3.99 at Target. It contains brow grooming wax,brow powder, brush and a tiny pair of tweezers for grooming. Those tweezers are a win for me. The packaging isn't as great as compared to the e.l.f. kit. There is no cute and useful mirror. But, that is the only thing that is lacking. I love the color of the wax and the powder. The powder makes my brows look much more natural. The brush is functional and practical.Everything about this kit is a win. I loved it so much that I have gone through two of these and I still have the e.l.f. one. It is my new favorite makeup product. I use it daily. I may not do a full face of makeup daily but I will always make sure my brows are on point. My daily eye makeup includes: brow powder, eye liner, eye shadow and mascara. For that reason, I would recommend the NYC brow kit. It's affordable, readily and widely available. Great product at a great price. Get into it!

Monday, July 14, 2014

This Reader's Review: Part XXIV : "Unfriending My Ex: And Other Things I'll Never Do" by Kim Stolz

The title of this book caught my eyes as I was walking out of the library. "Unfriending My Ex: And Other Things I'll Never Do" is definitely an eye catching title. I double backed to check it out. I recognized the author's face. She was a contestant on one of the early seasons of "America's Next Top Model" which I used to watch religiously with my best friend and goddaughter. Her name is Kim Stolz. Her book is a look into the way social media is changing our interactions with each other.  It's a subject that I can totally relate to. We are so technologically advanced in 2014 but I cannot say it's actually for the better. We have evolved to spending more time on Facebook that actual face to face meetings. In a nutshell, social media isn't actually real. Stolz makes a good point that we all have become slaves to our devices and accounts.

What I really loved about this book is the way it made me reevaluate the way I interact with people. I am guilty of being addicted to my phone. I constantly check my email and social media accounts. I love the instant gratification of it. But, as Stolz reminds me that none of it is really real. I have unfriended hundreds of people I only casually knew because they did not need to be privy to my life. Even though I do not frequent Facebook or Twitter like I used to, I am still an addict. This book proves it. I liked her in-depth and cheeky look into her own addiction. We are all addicted. I've gotten better with it. This was a great read and I really enjoyed it. Get into it. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Trayvon Martin: One Year After The Verdict

It's been a year since one of the biggest miscarriages of justice ever occurred. Trayvon Martin's killer was found not guilty. How?! I will never know. The facts of the case were clear. Martin was stalked and hunted and executed for nothing more than being a Black man in a hoodie. There is nothing right or just about that. His killer deserves to die a horrible slow death locked in a tiny cell. Instead, he is still breathing and walking free. This is not justice. A year later, I am still disgusted by the verdict. I've written about Trayvon Martin a lot. There is something about his murder that struck a deep cord in me. It's been a year since Martin was denied justice. A year filled with ridiculous actions by his killer. The most recent being a report that he is homeless and broke. Good. Martin's killer deserves much worse than that for taking a life. I still weep for Martin and his family.  

"I will never accept the verdict," Sybrina Fulton said. "I still feel like my son was murdered."

A year later, the fight still continues for Martin's parents, Sybrina and Tracy. There is a Trayvon Martin Foundation housed at Florida Memorial University. The people who wrongly believe that we are living in a post-racial America are quite deluded. Racism is alive and well and thriving in these United States of America. Almost 57 years after the brutal killing of Emmett Till, a case like Martin's still exists. Both young men who were killed because their skin color made someone uncomfortable. Both too young to be taken in such a brutal manner. Where is the justice? There is nothing we can do to bring Martin back. But, we can all make sure no one ever forgets his name because his story is important. Also, so his murder won't be in vain. A year later, the injustice still stings. A year later, we are still angry. A year later, a murderer is still walking free. I do not know about you but there is nothing just about that. No Justice, No Peace. R.I.P. Trayvon Martin.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Ladies Love Lyrics: "Suitcase" by Mary J. Blige

Being a true Mary fan makes this song easy to love. It is classic MJB. This track is on the "Think Like A Man Too" soundtrack which is essentially a Mary cd. I love this entire project. Today has been a "Suitcase" day. I've had this song on repeat for a moment. Get into the video and lyrics down below. 

"I wonder if I took these scars
And put dirt in them
Would I brought me a brand new heart
Will love work again
If I keep let you hurt me
I might have to plead insanity
‘Cause everything in me is telling me to go

Cause I can’t keep on crying when I see ya
Messing up my make up
Thinking you gon’ change
But everything’s the same
Starting keeping secrets
Got my heart in pieces
I’mma ‘bout to pick myself up, and go

You gon’ wake up in the morn
And find out that I’m already gone
Got a one way ticket, here's your goodbye song
And while you’re trying to explain
I’ll be zipping up my suitcase
While you’re trying to explain
I’ll be zipping up my suitcase
While you’re trying to explain
I’ll be zipping up my suitcase

Boy had everything
I never thought about another man
Gave you so much control on me
Your love really had me bugging me
If I don’t let you go, you’ll just keep on hurting me more and more
‘Cause everything in me is telling me to go..."

Friday, July 11, 2014

LeBron James Shocker


Call this the shocker of free agency season. LeBron James is taking his talents back to Cleveland. I am so shocked. James wrote a passionate letter on Sports this morning. You can read it here. I really thought that James was going to resign for the max contract with the Heat. He's been there 4 years, won 2 Championship rings and became a bigger superstar. I was wrong. After reading his post, I get it. The man wants to go home. He wants to bring a Championship to his home team. He wants to raise his growing family there. I get it. But, one thing I cannot shake is the utterly disrespectful letter Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wrote when James left and the way the Cavs fan acted (like burning his jersey and taunting him online) after "The Decision." I would love to know what words were spoken in the meeting between James and Gilbert. Something tells me the world will never know. I cannot wait to see what happens with this return. I respect LeBron as a player and a man. So, I cannot be mad at him for making the best decision for himself. This is such a surprising move in this day and age of the NBA.

"But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get. 
In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.
I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home." - LeBron James 07.11.2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Facing It

Fear is a powerful emotion. It can literally stop anyone in their tracks. It is the force that will prevent a person from moving forward. FEAR is an acronym for "false evidence appearing real." I do not really believe that. Fear is real. I know how it grips my heart, the way it makes me feel and the doubts that it plants in my mind. Growing up, I had one MAJOR fear. That fear was being a single parent. My fear was not in the fact that I could/would be a great parent. It laid more in the fact of doing it alone. I watched my Mom break her back for me and my brother. She worked two sometimes three jobs to provide for us. She was the epitome of a great Mom to us. But, for years, my Mom was always so overworked and exhausted. There were so many things she missed out on in my life because she had to work. My Dad had his faults, mainly not being there and not paying child support. I didn't want to live that life. I wanted more, better. My Mom wanted this for me as well.

Now, that I am heading quickly towards 35, my fear has changed. The thing I fear the most is twofold. I fear being alone and never being a parent. Those are real, tangible, accessible fears. I do not know how to shake these fears. I cannot figure out how to get past it. I feel silly still wanting that elusive dream of marriage and babies. But, I do. I've tried so many ways to not worry about it but it's hard. It's difficult waiting around for something you want so bad that may never happen.People say that you have to face your fears but I have no clue how to do that now. This isn't like my fear of heights. I've faced it by riding roller coasters and flying. Or my fear of spiders. I survived having a tarantula crawl up my thighs. Or my fear of snakes. I didn't freak out being near one a few weeks back. This fear isn't one I can face truly yet. I do not have a solution. But, it's something that has been on my mind a lot lately. All I do know is that I cannot let these fears prevent me from living my life. I know that whatever God has for me is for me. Believe that. 

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Good Riddance, Willy Wonka!

It was the day of reckoning for the ex mayor of New Orleans, C. Ray Nagin. After being found guilty of 20 out of 21 counts, prison time was unavoidable. The charges ran from corruption to bribery to illegal dealings while in office. The judge sentences Nagin to 120 months. This sentence was extremely light. I am slightly outraged at this slap on the hand for a corrupt, pompous politician. Nagin was an arrogant sob during his trial. He was offered a plea deal that he turned down. It was for less than the ten he received. Nagin was looking at getting at least 20 years. Why the judge decided to low ball Nagin's sentencing is unknown. But, Matthew Coman the federal prosecutor said he would be pursuing an appeal because he objected to the judge's reduction from what the government suggested. This has been a remarkable fall from grace from a man who was heralded as a savior during hurricane Katrina. To know that he took advantage of his position for money and power makes me sick. I say good riddance to bad grass, Mr. Chocolate City. Maybe he'll learn his lesson while thinking in jail.